The foul air will soon kill me. The black, tarry fume has oozed from the cities that spawn such filth and found its way to the last vestige of pristine forest left on the planet. Hidden even from foot travel, no human has glimpsed our little jewel. Carried by the wind, who we once thought a friend, we find we are not immune from the rapidly spreading cancer that eradicates everything its rotting tentacles care to touch. My delicate wings, and those of my cousin, Lysander, the comet moth, were the first to suffer. Once a majestic mode of transport, these brittle skeletons of decaying matter, these shredded remains, now hang limply from my back. Dear Lysander fared much worse and is simply no more.
I’ve had the bad luck to be entrusted as lookout. What were they thinking, leaving a tired old woman out here to do what should be a young person’s job? Traps have been laid in this area, needle-sharp spikes in pits under the ground. I can’t tell where they are, so I am reluctant to move from this spot. My neck has a crick in it. I’m not an owl. My head can’t swivel 270 degrees. But, it could certainly end up in a basket.
The cave is full of sylphs who can no longer fly. Their gossamer wings have been shredded to ukulele strings by the damp air. Instead, the sylphs leap from rock to rock, ducking when bats wobble overhead. They’ve created a game of catching crickets on their tongues, making a wish, then swallowing them whole. I need to get out.
This is not what I was expecting. Being left to perish in the hot August sun. No water, no options, no relief. No sunscreen. In three days my skin shall be baked red. It will start to crackle and split. The blood in my veins will have dried to brown rust. Nothing to ooze out through the cracks in my face, neck and chest. Save your soul. Untie me.